Tedx talks come with five 3 hour training sessions. You have to make yourself available, but why wouldn’t you. It seemed a great opportunity to work with specialists and other passionate people.

I turned up just in time one cold Wellington evening and looked curiously round the boardroom of the Museum Hotel at the other speakers. They looked like everyday people but there was a warm hum of conversation and a sense of excitement. Everyone wanted to be exactly where we were.

I had the forms and the first draft of my talk, all 14 pages, so I felt ready.

After the formalities and introductions we watched an excerpt from a Ted talk about giving talks by Nancy Duarte. It was 4 minutes of genius. I vowed to rewrite my talk that very night.

Then we had to read the first 5 minutes of our talks. My turn seemed to take about a minute and a half. I was just getting warmed up. The critique wasn’t bad.

I realised I’d only read 2 of my 14 pages, in five minutes. And Ted talks are a maximum of 18 minutes. I’d only get through seven pages tops. And they said I was speaking too fast.

Aagh! My content seemed ok but boy did I have some revision coming!

The other talks were fascinating, even 5 minutes worth. Diverse and quirky, important and delicious. All sorts, all different kinds of people.

We got some details of the process and the support available up to and including the day. We’d be working off a small red carpet, about 2 metres square. We wouldn’t really be able to see the audience though, they’d be semi-blacked out. We could have pretty much any visual and auditory support we wanted. We’d be introduced so we wouldn’t have to say our names. Details and details.

Scary and exciting!

I walked out into the freezing night with some new friends three hours after arriving, ready to change the world.